COXSACKIE — Multiple emergency responders were on the scene of a large fuel spill Thursday night in Coxsackie.

Between 125 and 150 gallons of home heating oil spilled in the incident, Coxsackie Fire Chief Shawn Burdick said.

At about 7:02 p.spillm., Greene County 911 sent the Coxsackie Fire Company to 63 Ely St., after a neighbor reported smelling a strong odor of fuel in the area.

When fire officials arrived on the scene, they discovered the front lawn of the property was covered in home heating oil, and requested hazardous materials crews to respond.

The problem was traced to a leaky oil filter in the furnace. The fuel poured from the filter and began filling the basement of the vacant home. The sump pump kicked in and pumped the fuel out onto the front lawn, Burdick said.

Firefighters began placing booms around certain areas of the property to keep the spill from traveling.

Fire officials said the fuel was shut off in the basement around 7:20 p.m.

The Greene and Columbia County Haz-Mat teams and the state Department of Environmental Conservation Spill Response Team arrived and began cleaning up the spill.

A strong odor of fuel filled the air around the contaminated site.

Yellow caution tape surrounded the home Thursday night and remained there on Friday morning.

Ely Street was closed by fire police for several hours until the spill was cleared.

Fire officials were able to contact the property owner to alert them of the problem. The home has been vacant for several years, Burdick said.

The village Water and Sewer Department was called to the scene to flush the system.

Coxsackie Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary also responded.

Assisting at the scene were Coxsackie Ambulance and Greene County Paramedics.

All firefighters were back in service at 9:25 p.m.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has a Spill Hotline for residents to call if they discover a fuel spill at their home. Call 1-800-457-7362 to report the spill.

When petroleum is spilled inside a structure, residual amounts that remain after the recoverable oil has been collected may create indoor air/odor problems that make the structure uninhabitable. To address this problem, the structure and contaminated items should be properly disposed or cleaned, if possible, according to the DEC website.

Because the spilled heating oil covered the front lawn of the home, DEC issued guidance on the outdoor cleanup that will be necessary.

The goal at each petroleum spill site is to remove the spilled petroleum product from the soil in the most efficient and safe manner so the soil may be returned to a reusable product.

When complete removal is not possible, practical or cost effective, the objective is to remediate the contaminated site to concentration levels which will protect groundwater, human health and the environment, according to the DEC.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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